recruiting great engineers in six easy steps
Post on 10-Nov-2014
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DESCRIPTION"Hiring Great Technologists in Six Easy Steps"In this talk, we discuss:- What it takes to hire and retain great engineers in New York area.- Qualities you should look for in a technical co-founder.- Does it make sense to outsource?- As well as other topics raised by the audience.Afterwards, we will continue with networking among the group's members.Please feel free to write your questions ahead of time in the comments section.
Recruiting Great Engineers in Six Easy Steps
Who Am I?
• Aleksandr Yampolskiy • CTO of Cinchcast, BlogTalkRadio, and Cinch.FM companies
that provide solutions to create, share, measure, and monetize audio content.
• Grew the team from six to 15 in six months• Previously global head of security and compliance for Gilt
Groupe companies• The team served over 1300 people, got recognized in
the news media.• Various leadership roles in Goldman Sachs, Oracle, Microsoft
building scalable, enterprise software for IDM, SSO, Security• Ph.D. in Distributed Computing
Email: [email protected]: @ayampolskiyBlog: http://www.ctothoughts.com
Company Overview (www.cinchcast.com)
• Cinchcast provides cloud-based software and services for creating, distributing, measuring and monetizing voice-based content• BlogTalkRadio is a consumer-based media property
Founded in 2006 ~30 Employees 15 of them in Tech HQ in New York, NY Millions of pageviews a
day Powering over 1,500
hours of content creation every day
Confidential © 2011 Cinchcast - All Rights Reserved 3
BlogTalkRadio : Largest Audio Social Network(for consumers)
The Cinchcast Platform(for enterprises)
Confidential © 2011 Cinchcast - All Rights Reserved 5
My Recruiting Tail of Woe
• Or the first snow of the season, winter 2008, NYC
RULE #1: Look in the right places
• Where will you find more engineers?
MongoDB conference Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority Party
Where to look
• Best engineers aren’t showcasing their resumes. • They attend meetups, build open-source projects on
github, advertise on Linkedin, answer questions on stackoverflow.
• Tip: Sponsor or host dev talks. Or you could just attend them.
• Tip: Scout Linkedin, github, stackoverflow. • Look for technologies you are hiring for but also for
knowledge of exotic technologies (OCAML, LISP, etc.) Only passionate engineers know these.
Rule #2 : Know what attracts developers (and what doesn’t)
Hint: It’s not the money.
• A players like to work with A players.• They want to learn new technologies and get better at
them. • They like to seat in Aeron chairs, and have fun during
lunch break.• Developers should be self-empowered to make the right
decisions. Some process but not too much.
Talk is cheap.
• 20% equity of $0 is still $0.• Tell a personal story. What did you risk by joining this
startup? What makes you competent?
RULE #3: Slow to hire, fast to fire.
• When hiring, look for passion! Experimentation with new technologies and a track record of failure.
• My pitch: learn a lot over a few years while building a multi-hundred-million company, and then go create your own startup.
• Always meet in person. Have lots of coffees. Use social media to your advantage (tech blog, friends’ connections, twitter)
Slow to hire, fast to fire
• Get developers to write code during interview. Ask lots of questions – “You add an index to a database table, how do you implement it? What’s a b-tree? Why do we need to use a b-tree?”
• If you have a 100 person company, someone is No. 100… A bad situation will fester. It is your job as CEO to make sure those situations don't happen. " - Kevin Ryan, CEO Gilt Groupe.
• “Right person, right job, right time”
RULE #4: Recruitment is Everyone’s Job
• Sourcing (referrals are the best source of candidates. Offer a $5K referral)
• Selling (sell the company to a prospective candidate at every stage)
• Selecting (hire the best - if in doubt, then it’s a no.)
How to Succeed
• Developers should be self-empowered to make the right decisions. Some process but not too much.
•Start using the website (aka “eating your own dog food”)
•Refer your friends to Engineering jobs.
•Think about how to improve the company even if it’s not your direct job responsibility.
•Know what the business strategy is.
• Most importantly, have fun!
RULE #5: Try something. The price of inaction is high.
• Make decisions quickly [to hire or not to hire]• General Patton: “A good plan violently
executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
• Linkedin is an invaluable resource if you reach out to candidates yourself. Look for unusal skills in addition to the ones I need (Lisp, socket.io, MIPS assembly, etc.)
• Mixed luck with Craigslist or Stackoverflow.• Hire a part-time recruiter ($20 an hour) vs. 15-20%
RULE #6: Fail fast forward
• “Failure is very acceptable. When it happens, make sure you identify it quickly, and hopefully it's in a forward motion. And then start going again.”
• Hiring great people isn’t easy. My response rate is 2-3 out of 20; recruiters report 1 out for 100.
• I don’t delegate hiring; it’s the most important job a CTO can do.
Carol Bartz, former Yahoo CEO
• I should use ___ technology in the beginning because it’s better, more scalable, and will make it easier to hire. It doesn’t matter!
• Premature optimization of the team and infrastructure• “I MUST have a technical cofounder”
– How about a tech advisor instead + outsourcing?• Your worst hires will look great on paper.
• Can be effective if done properly. Stay tuned.
Email: [email protected]: @ayampolskiy